General Abdulsalami Abubakar was born in Minna, Niger State on June 13, 1942 into the devout Muslim family of Alhaji Abubakar Jibrin and Hajiya Fati Kande Mohammed.  For his early education, young Abdulsalami attended Minna Native Authority Primary School between 1950 to 1956, before proceeding to the famous Government College, Bida, for his secondary education from 1957 to 1962.  For his Post Secondary School Education, he attended Kaduna Technical College from January to October 1963.

Imbued with patriotism to serve the fatherland, Abdulsalami enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on October 3, 1963 as Officer Cadet.  In June 1964, he was sent to Germany for flying training.  Due to exigencies prevailing at the time, he was seconded to the Army and Commissioned Second Lieutenant and was posted to the infantry.  By dint of hardwork, he progressed steadily in the service, earning his promotions regularly and becoming a General on June 9, 1998.  From 1967 he held various staff and command appointments ranging from platoon, company, battalion and Brigade Commander. He became General Officer Commanding in 1988 and posted to 82 Div after being Military Secretary from 1986 – 1988.  He was appointed Commandant National War College from where he became Chief of Defence Staff from 1993 to 1998 when destiny made him Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1998.  Since leaving office in 1999, he has been involved in International assignments.